Carlos Meza, MD is Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and participating in ABIM’s Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment in Internal Medicine.
I earned my Internal Medicine Certification in 2002, and then took my first Maintenance of Certification exam in 2012. So, when 2022 came around it was time for me to decide if I should do the longform again, or try the new Longitudinal Knowledge Assessment (LKATM). I know a few people who had already enrolled in the LKA and they said they thought the questions were fair and the platform easy to use, so I thought I’d give it a chance.
It was much better than I expected. I just started with a few questions at first…almost like dipping your toe in the water….once I found it wasn’t so bad I then blocked out 2-3 hours in a quiet place to answer the rest of the questions.
As a Hospitalist I thought the inpatient questions were relevant to my practice. The outpatient ones were good reminders for me as well to keep my knowledge sharp in those areas. I got immediate feedback for all the questions, so I was learning throughout the process. Since it’s open book, it’s like how my inpatient team with residents and students looks at the resources to try and answer specific questions in real-time.
Four minutes can go by surprisingly fast, but I felt I had plenty of time to answer the questions. I appreciated that if I needed more time there’s a built in timebank to add an extra minute, and that helped ease my anxiety.
I took most of the questions at work because I have two monitors there. I’d have the questions up on one screen, and then my resources, like UpToDate, up on the other. I’d definitely recommend a quiet place where you can concentrate with minimal distractions.
With the LKA you’re always engaging in an educational activity, and even if you don’t sit down and prepare ahead of time, you’re able to look things up if you need to. So far it seems like the LKA will help me stay on top of the latest guidelines and stay current, as opposed to cramming for an assessment every 10 years where I might not remember everything I learned.
I also like the “life happens” policy, where if I need to step away and not take questions that’s ok and it won’t affect my ability to be successful with the LKA. Over five years you can choose not to open up to 100 questions, and you don’t need to let anyone know – just don’t open them and you’re good to go.
One feature I’m looking forward to is the quarterly score reports, which physicians participating in the LKA start receiving in their fifth quarter. That will let me know how I’m doing relative to the passing standard, and also areas in which I might be weaker in and need to focus my studies. With the score reports physicians will always know exactly where they stand in the program.
It was helpful knowing if the LKA wasn’t working for me I could also switch back and take the longform exam if I wanted, so it was pretty low-risk to give it a try. But given that I’m really liking the experience so far I plan to stick with the LKA, and look forward to using it to keep my knowledge sharp over time. I recommend using this platform to any colleague who is still deciding between the LKA vs testing every 10 years.
Enrollment for the LKA remains open until 6/30/22. For more information visit www.abim.org/LKA.